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NBC Lands U.S. Media Rights for English Premier League Soccer

Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal acquired exclusive U.S. media rights to English Premier League soccer games starting next season.

The league, which features 20 teams including Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, has had its games televised in the U.S. by the Fox Sports Media Group for almost 20 years.

NBC Sports Group said it reached a multiyear agreement with the Premier League to broadcast games on NBC, NBC Sports Network and, with Telemundo and mun2 providing Spanish-language coverage. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed in a news release. NBC will pay $250 million over the next three years, the Associated Press said without saying where it got the information.

“The Barclays Premier League is the preeminent soccer league in the world and is on the cusp of exponential popularity growth here in the U.S.,” NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus said in the release. “NBCU will provide the broadest programming and promotional commitment that the league has ever experienced here in the United States.”

NBC gains exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights in the U.S. to all 380 of the league’s games each season, which runs over a 41-week period from August to May.

NBC Universal said additional platforms and networks will occasionally be used to air matches, while NBC Sports Live Extra will provide the live streaming platform across web, tablet and mobile devices. In addition to live coverage, NBC Sports Group will have pre- and post-match shows, as well as highlight and weekly wrap-up programs.

The Premier League’s previous three-year deal with Fox, which included some games televised on Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, was worth about $80 million, AP said.

NBC televised men’s and women’s soccer games at the 2012 London Olympics and also has rights to Major League Soccer and the U.S. men’s and women’s national team matches.

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